Another Mystical Story Titled A VINE ON A HOUSE

     Approximately 3 miles from the little town of Norton, in Missouri, on the street leading to Maysville, stands an old house that was last occupied by a family named Harding. Since 1886 no one has lived in it, nor is anybody likely to live in it again. Time and the disfavor of persons lodging thereabout are converting it into a rather picturesque ruin. An observer unacquainted with its history would hardly put it into the category of "haunted houses," yet in all the region round such is its evil reputation. Its windows are without glass, its doorways without doors; there are wide breaches in the shingle roof, and for lack of paint the weatherboarding is a dun gray.

But these enduring signs of the supernatural are partly concealed and greatly softened by the abundant foliage of a large vine overrunning the entire structure. This vine--of a species which no botanist has ever been able to name--has an important part in the story of the house.

The Harding family consisted of Robert Harding, his spouse Matilda, Miss Julia Went, who was her sister, and two young children. Robert Harding was a silent, distant-mannered man who made no friends in the neighborhood and apparently cared to make none. He was about forty years old, frugal and industrious, and made a living from the little farm which is now overgrown with brush and brambles. He and his sister-in-law were rather tabooed by their neighbors, who seemed to think that they were seen too repeatedly together--not entirely their fault, for at these times they evidently did not challenge observation. The honest code of rural Missouri is stern and exacting. Mrs. Harding was a tender, sad-eyed woman, lacking a left foot. At some moment in 1884 it became known that she had gone to visit her mother in Iowa. That was what her husband said in reply to inquiries, and his manner of saying it did not persuade further questioning.

She never came back, and two years later, without selling his farm or anything that was his, or appointing an agent to look after his wellbeing, or removing his household goods, Harding, with the rest of the family, left the country. Nobody knew whither he went; nobody at that time cared. As you would expect, whatever was movable about the place soon disappeared and the deserted house became "haunted" in the manner of its kind. One summer nightfall, four or five years later, the Rev. J. Gruber, of Norton, and a Maysville attorney named Hyatt met on horseback in frontage of the Harding place. Having business matters to discuss, they hitched their animals and going to the house sat on the porch to talk. Some humorous reference to the somber reputation of the place was made and forgotten as soon as uttered, and they talked of their business relationships until it grew almost dark. The evening was oppressively warm, the air stagnant.

Presently both males comenced from their seats in surprise: a long vine that covered half the front of the house and dangled its twigs from the edge of the porch above them was visibly and audibly agitated, shivering violently in every stem and leaf. "We shall experience a storm," Hyatt exclaimed. Gruber said nil, but mutely directed the other's attention to the foliage of adjacent trees, which showed no movement; even the delicate tips of the boughs silhouetted against the clear sky were stationary.

They hastily passed down the steps to what had been a lawn and looked in the air at the vine, whose entire length was now visible. It continued in violent agitation, yet they could discern no disturbing cause. "Let us leave," spoke the minister. And leave they did. Forgetting that they had been roving in opposite directions, they rode away together. They went to Norton, where they related their strange experience to several discreet friends. The next nightfall, at about the same hour, accompanied by two others whose names are not recalled, they were again on the porch of the Harding quarters, and again the mysterious happening occurred: the vine was violently agitated while under the closest scrutiny from root to tip, nor did their combined strength applied to the trunk serve to still it.

After an hour's inspection they retreated, no less wise, it is thought, than when they had come. No large time was required for these singular facts to rouse the curiosity of the entire neighborhood. By day and by night crowds of persons assembled at the Harding house "seeking a sign." It does not appear that any found it, yet so convincing were the witnesses mentioned that none doubted the reality of the "manifestations" to which they testified.

By either a happy inspiration or some devastating design, it was one day proposed--not a soul appeared to know from whom the suggestion came- -to dig up the vine, and after a good deal of debate this was done. Nothing was found but the root, yet nothing could have been more strange! For five or six feet from the trunk, which had at the surface of the ground a diameter of several inches, it ran downward, single and straight, into a loose, friable earth; then it divided and subdivided into rootlets, fibers and filaments, most curiously interwoven. When delicately freed from soil they showed a singular formation. In their ramifications and doublings back upon themselves they made a compact network, having in size and shape an amazing resemblance to the human being figure. Head, trunk and limbs were there; even the fingers and toes were distinctly defined; and many professed to see in the distribution and arrangement of the fibers in the globular mass representing the head a ugly suggestion of a face.

The figure was horizontal; the smaller roots had begun to unite at the breast. In point of resemblance to the human form this image was deficient. At about ten inches from one of the knees, the cilia forming that leg had abruptly doubled toward the rear and inward upon their course of growth. The figure lacked the left foot. There was but one inference--the obvious one; but in the ensuing excitement as many courses of action were projected as there were incapable counselors. The matter was established by the sheriff of the district, who as the lawful custodian of the abandoned estate ordered the root replaced and the dig filled with the earth that had been removed. Later inquiry brought out only one fact of relevancy and significance: Mrs. Harding had never visited her relatives in Iowa, nor did they know that she was rumored to have done so. Of Robert Harding and the rest of his family nothing is known. The house retains its evil status, but the replanted vine is as orderly and well-behaved a vegetable as a nervous person could wish to sit under of a lovely night, when the katydids grate out their immemorial revelation and the far-away whippoorwill signifies his notion of what ought to be done about it.

Article Source :

These ghost stories are all related to the paranormal catagory, and so is my website, please check it out here at mosthauntedlive net Also you can check out my video here at dvd most haunted

Posted on 2009-08-31, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

Animated RSS Symbol for the ABC Article Directory rss category feed ... Get Every New Short Stories Article Delivered Instantly!

Facebook Comments

Cartoon image of a figure holding a magnifying glass looking for articles in the ABC Article Directory

Still Searching? Last Chance to find what you're looking for with a Google Custom Search!

Custom Search

Or.... You can search this site using our Bing Custom Search!


Did You Like/Dislike This Article? Give It YOUR Rating!

Please Rate this Article

No Ratings Yet. Be The First To Rate This Article

/EDF Publishing. All rights reserved. Script Services by: Sustainable Website Design
Use of our free service is protected by our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service Contact Us

User published content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License
Increase your website traffic with


Powered by ABC Article Directory

Create a Mobile Website
View Site in Mobile | Classic
Share by: